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The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) makes every effort to provide educational activities that meet licensing, certification, and maintenance of certification requirements. Most of ACR’s educational programs – in-person and online – offer CME credits as well as ABIM and ABP MOC points.

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredits organizations that provide continuing medical education for physicians. The ACCME does not accredit individual educational activities. ACCME accreditation is a voluntary system, based on professional self-regulation and peer review. Accredited organizations are responsible for demonstrating that they meet requirements for delivering independent CME that accelerates learning, change, and improvement in healthcare.

ACR’s ACCME Accreditation
The ACR is accredited by ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The ACR designates its educational activities for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and offers activities designated for American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) MOC points. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in any CME activity. Non-physician participants may claim hours to receive a Certificate of Participation for the extent of their participation in any activity designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

The American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) credit system demonstrates a physician has participated in continuing medical education (CME) activities that meet the requirements of state medical boards, medical specialty societies, specialty boards, hospital medical staffs, the Joint Commission, insurance groups, and others. AMA PRA Category 1 Credit may only be awarded by the AMA or by CME organizations/providers accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or a recognized state medical society (SMS).

ACR's CME Mission Statement
The ACR’s CME purpose is to provide comprehensive education to improve the knowledge, competence, performance of physicians, scientists and other health professionals who treat/care for patients with/at risk for musculoskeletal diseases as well as systemic autoimmune disorders. The ACR will offer evidence-based educational activities designed to enhance practice performance and ultimately, improve the quality of care in those with or at risk for musculoskeletal diseases as well as systemic autoimmune disorders.

The ACR’s primary CME audience is its membership, including physicians, health professionals, and scientists.

The ACR’s CME activities/educational interventions will result in improved competence and/or performance of the learner. The ACR will determine the impact of its CME activities/educational interventions by analyzing data obtained from self-assessment activities and learner evaluations, by assessing change in learners during skill training sessions, and/or by linking learners’ practice performance directly to a rheumatology-specific quality indicator.


All physicians in the United States must be licensed to practice medicine. Medicine is a licensed profession regulated by the individual states. Through licensing, state medical boards ensure that all practicing physicians have appropriate education and training, and that they abide by recognized standards of professional conduct while serving their patients. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) provides general information on licensing and links to states for specific requirements. In general state medical boards review the following to determine licensure:

  • Medical education
  • Medical training (i.e., residency training)
  • Performance on a national licensing examination
  • Mental, moral, and physical fitness to safely practice medicine

Certification is a voluntary process, not mandated by law, that goes above and beyond licensing requirements.

Since 1933 the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has established the professional and educational standards for medical specialty practice and certification in partnership with its 24 certifying Member Boards. The majority of ACR members are certified and maintain certification through the following ABMS Member Boards:

To be ABMS certified, a physician must:

  • Complete the requisite predoctoral medical education
  • Meet the training requirements
  • Meet the licensure requirements and procedural requirements
  • Pass a certification examination

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Department of Certifying Board Services administers the processes of board certification and Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) for 16 specialty certifying boards, offering certifications in 27 primary specialties and 48 subspecialties. Many ACR members are certified and participate in OCC.

To be AOA certified, a physician must:

  • Complete medical school and residency requirements
  • Hold an active license to practice in a state or territory
  • Follow the AOA Code of Ethics
  • Pass all required certification examinations

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and/or Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC)
To maintain certification, physicians participate in “Maintenance of Certification (MOC)” programs under the ABMS boards including ABIM and ABP. MOC provides a pathway to evaluate and assess, that physicians are staying current in the medical knowledge they use to treat patients and make important care decisions daily.

American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) MOC
The ABIM website provides detailed information on MOC requirements. For your personalized MOC status and your specific requirements login to your ABIM Physician Portal. Basic requirements are:

  • Earn points every two years by completing a MOC designated activity (of any point value)*
  • Earn 100 points every five years by completing MOC designated activities*
  • Pass an assessment of which there are two options: Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA) (launched 2022) or Traditional 10-year MOC exam
  • ABIM reports certification status and whether you are “participating in MOC” (e.g., continuously engaging in MOC activities); this applies to all ABIM Board Certified physicians, including physicians certified before 1990 and hold a certification that is valid indefinitely (“grandparent”)

*Designated MOC activities may include in-person and virtual events offered by ACR and other CME providers, activities completed as a Program Director, and passing the 10-year exam or correctly answering questions in the LKA.

American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) MOC
The ABP How-To Guide provides detailed information on MOC requirements. For your personal MOC status and your specific requirements, login to your ABP Physician Portal. Basic requirements are:

  • Have at least one valid, unrestricted medical license in the U.S. or Canada, and no restricted licenses (Part 1: Professional Standing)
  • Earn at least 40 points in self-assessment of knowledge activities every five years (Part 2: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment)**
  • Pass an examination on a regular schedule for each certificate you wish to maintain; the two exam options are MOCA-Peds or traditional proctored examination at a secure testing facility (Part 3: Cognitive Expertise — Exam)
  • Earn at least 40 points every five years in quality improvement (QI) activities (Part 4: Improving Professional Practice — Quality Improvement)**

**To receive credit for Part 2 and Part 4 activities and maintain certification, you must earn a total of 100 points: a minimum of 40 for Part 2 and a minimum of 40 for Part 4 every five years. The additional 20 points may be earned in either Part 2 or Part 4 activities.

Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC)

  • Component 1: Active Licensure
  • Component 2: Lifelong Learning/Continuing Medical Education: Fulfilling required CME credits in your specialty area
  • Component 3: Cognitive Assessment; Pass one or more psychometrically valid and proctored examinations that assess your specialty medical knowledge, as well as core competencies in the provision of health care
  • Component 4: Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement: Engage in quality improvement by satisfying one of the following: (1) Attest or submit evidence of participation in quality improvement activities; (2) Complete a Practice Performance Assessment (PPA) module developed by a specialty board; or (3) Complete a verifiable quality-driven or clinically focused encounter that assesses your clinical acumen

ACR’s Role in CME, Licensure, Certification, and MOC
The ACR is not a licensing or certifying board. The ACR is a not-for-profit professional membership organization dedicated to advancing the rheumatology subspecialty. The ACR is accredited by ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians and provides MOC points for designated activities that meet ABMS boards’ specific MOC criteria.

ACR supports members by:

  • The ACR is not a licensing or certifying board. The ACR is a not-for-profit professional membership organization dedicated to advancing the rheumatology subspecialty. The ACR is accredited by ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians and provides MOC points for designated activities that meet ABMS boards’ specific MOC criteria.
  • Actively working with ABMS and its Member Boards to ensure the MOC process is truly educational and relates to our specific subspecialty practice.

ACR Educational Activities
ACR offers numerous CME and MOC activities in-person and online. A variety of new activities are added to the ACR Education Center on a continuous basis that assess rheumatology medical knowledge and enhance patient care. Find online activities in the ACR Education Center and meetings on the Meetings & Webinars page.

ACR CME Credit Claiming & Certificates
For live activities, CME credit must be claimed within one year of the activity expiration date. For online activities, CME will be automatically applied upon completion and cannot be edited. To claim CME credits:

  1. Log in to the My Credit page
  2. Locate the CME activity you wish to claim and select Claim Credit (to view or update your credit, select View Credit)
  3. After you claim CME, you can access and print certificates in the ACR Learning Center on the My Learning page

ACR MOC Point Claiming
If you are enrolled in the ABIM and/or the ABP MOC program, you can claim MOC points after successfully completing an ACR educational activity that has been designated for ABIM or ABP MOC points. If MOC points are available, MOC will be noted on the activity.

  • After claiming CME, if ABIM and/or ABP MOC is available, you will be asked if you wish to claim ABIM MOC and/or ABP MOC. If you select ‘Yes,’ you will be prompted to enter or confirm your ABIM Diplomate Number/ ABP Diplomate Number and date of birth. After submitting, you will be prompted to enter a reflective statement. Enter the statement and click Submit.
  • Points are sent nightly to ACCME and transferred from there to the respective ABIM/ABP Physician Portal. Please allow at least 48 hours for points to be reflected in the portal.
  • Per ABIM guidelines, ABIM MOC points must be claimed in the year the activity is completed.
  • Per ABP guidelines, ABP diplomates must meet reporting requirements prior to their mid-December deadlines each year. While credit can be entered and will be accepted after December 1, it may be too late for a diplomate whose certification depends upon receiving the credit in that particular year.

EULAR & Other International Activities Credit Claiming
Physicians may earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for participation in select international educational activities. With an approved credit conversion application form and fee, the AMA will convert CME credit issued to physicians for participation in live and e-learning activities certified by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME), the accrediting arm of the European Union of Medical Specialists, to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. See instructions to convert international CME credit through AMA.

AMA PRA Category 2 Credit Claiming
AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ is self-designated and claimed by individual physicians for participation in activities not certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ that meet certain AMA PRA defined criteria. Download the AMA PRA Booklet to view AMA PRA criteria for category 2 credit.

  • Category 2 Documentation: The physician should self-claim credit for appropriate AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ activities and document activity title or description, subject or content area, date(s) of participation, and number of credits claimed. Physicians may not claim AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ for an activity for which the physician has claimed AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Each physician is responsible for claiming and maintaining a record of their AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™.
  • Credit Calculation: As with live activities, physicians should claim credit based on their participation time with 60 minutes of participation equal to one (1) AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™; credit is claimed in 15 minute or 0.25 credit increments; must round to the nearest quarter hour.

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